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Elsevier maths journals up to 2009 are available for free, and in a convenient format

A year and a bit ago, we posted about Elsevier’s possibly-generous, possibly-cynical move to make all papers in its maths journals free to access four years after their publication. I lamented at the time that the only way to access the free papers was through Elsevier’s sanity-sapping ScienceDirect portal.

Well, not any more! The Mathematics Literature Project (which we never got round to posting about when it started, sorry) has collected together all the content that’s been made available and collected it into nice BitTorrent packages for anyone to download. The MLP page on Elsevier open access journals has links to torrents of the complete back-catalogues of 39 journals, going up to 2009. They intend to update the torrents yearly, as more papers become available under the permissive licence.

The MLP was set up by Scott Morrison, who deserves a big pat on the back for putting in so much tedious work downloading papers and compiling the torrents. The project is also analysing journals to get an idea of how beneficial Elsevier’s licence is – if papers are available on the arXiv anyway, it doesn’t matter too much what Elsevier does with their copies. So far, at least in the journals the project is concentrating on, the vast majority of papers are on the arXiv or authors’ webpages anyway.

More information

Elsevier open access mathematics torrents at the Mathematics Literature Project

The Mathematics Literature Project

Mathematics Literature Project progress at the Secret Blogging Seminar

Scott Morrison’s academic homepage

ScienceDirect

Previously: Elsevier has made lots more articles free to access

via David Roberts on Google+

Bound on prime gaps bound decreasing by leaps and bounds

Update 17/06/2013: The gap is down to 60,744. That’s a whole order of magnitude down from where it started!

When Yitang Zhang unexpectedly announced a proof that that there are infinitely many pairs of primes less than 70 million apart from each other – a step on the way to the twin primes conjecture – certain internet wags amused themselves and a minority of others with the question, “is it a bigger jump from infinity to 70 million, or from 70 million to 2?”.

Of course the answer is that it’s a really short distance from 70 million to 2, and here’s my evidence: the bound of 70 million has in just over three weeks been reduced to just a shade over 100,000.